Bipolar disorder, characterized by divergent mood swings from euphoric highs to depressive lows, can be treated effectively with prescription drugs. However, many people with bipolar disorder search for gentler and kinder ways to alleviate their symptoms.

More people than ever before are turning to nutritional therapies for their symptoms of bipolar disorder. With fewer side effects than prescription medications, nutritional therapy has been proven to provide real relief to many with bipolar disorder.

One of the most surprising findings of recent years with regard to the nutritional therapeutic approach to bipolar disorder is the use of omega-3 fatty acids. One study followed 30 people with bipolar disorder who were given omega-3 fatty acids for a period of four months. During this time, they experienced, on average, fewer mood swings and fewer recurrence of either the depressive or manic episodes of bipolar disorder than the control group which was given the placebo.

Other nutrients gaining in popularity in the natural treatment of bipolar disorder include a host of B-complex vitamins. Especially notable in the treatment of bipolar disorder, in fact, are B12 and folic acid. The body uses both of these in the manufacture of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. It has already been established that a deficiency of these can trigger depression in an individual. But now, studies say that a deficiency of folic acid and B12 may also be beneficial for the manic episodes of bipolar disorder as well.

Studies now suggest that those individuals afflicted with bipolar disorder with high levels of folic acid in the systems respond better to lithium treatment. A double-blind study, in fact, showed that those who were given an additional 200 mcg of folic acid resulted in a clinical improvement in their bipolar disorder. The group of individuals with bipolar disorder not given folic acid displayed no visible improvement.

A vitamin, better known for its beneficial effects on the immune system, now seems to help with both the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. A clinical study found that following the administration of three grams of vitamin C, greatly alleviated both the depressive and manic episode of bipolar disorder.

In a similar vein, many afflicted with bipolar disorder are also finding that if they avoid certain foods, their symptoms are greatly reduced. Even individuals who previously didn't believe that they had food sensitivities or allergies discover that certain foods seemed to trigger their symptoms.

Perhaps the most common of the foods is gluten. This protein is found in many grains, such as wheat, rye, oats, and barley. These individuals find that if they stay away from gluten their symptoms of bipolarbipolar disorder are lessened. Others report that casein, a protein found in dairy products, triggers the symptoms of bipolar disorder. disorder aren't nearly as severe. Some people report that when they don't eat chocolate, their symptoms of

Moreover, it's not even a specific food sensitivity which prompts the symptoms, but how your body reacts to the food you eat. Even a condition as common as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can reduce the glucose supply to the brain, which in turn appears to contribute to the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder.